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05/07/10 2:12 AM ET

Greinke seeks first win in seventh start

The second game of the series between the Rangers and Royals on Friday will feature one of baseball's rarer storylines: In his seventh start of the year, Royals Cy Young starter Zack Greinke is still trying to notch his first win of the season, a year after winning 16.

It's a theme Greinke would like to put to rest.

He did as much as he could in his last start, allowing just one run on four hits to MLB's hottest team, the Rays. But without run support, Greinke again was denied a victory.

"I just pitch," Greinke said. "I tried to do too much in the Twins game and almost lost the game by myself. So I've got to pitch aggressive and things will work out in the end. And by the end of the year, things will even out like they always do."

With an ERA of 2.27, Greinke currently holds the lowest ERA of any qualifying starter in baseball without a victory. (The Dodgers' Carlos Monasterios has a 2.25 ERA, in just four innings in a spot start.) While Greinke hasn't been the Greinke of 2009, part of the onus is on the offense, as the Royals have scored just 2.6 runs a game in his starts.

"Zack threw awesome like he always does [in his last start] and it just stinks every time that he goes out there is a day that we're having trouble getting runs," teammate Billy Butler said. "The only thing I can say to him is we're doing our best and we'll get it right."

The Royals' offense will have a tall task on Friday as they are facing C.J. Wilson, who has started the season with five quality starts, going 2-1, with a 1.65 ERA. Texas will need an even bigger effort from Wilson after the bullpen's meltdown in Thursday night's 13-12 win.

He was more than effective in his last start, pitching seven-plus innings and allowing just one run on five hits to the Mariners. The Rangers eventually won the contest in extras, but Wilson did not receive a decision.

Regardless of the outcome, the duel between Wilson and Greinke isn't likely to repeat the fireworks show both teams put on at the plate on Thursday. Combined, they scored 25 runs on 26 hits.

Royals: Offense primed for Rangers
Despite their struggles scoring runs in Greinke's starts this season, a few Royals could lead a breakout, with their strong career numbers against the Rangers. Alberto Callaspo has a .372 (16-for-43) mark against Texas, while Billy Butler (.354, three homers) also sports strong numbers against them. Callaspo and Butler both continued their success against Texas on Thursday night. Callaspo scorched a two-run homer in the seventh, while Butler knocked a two-run long ball in the fourth.

Rangers: Starters' streak snapped
With just five innings of work on Thursday from Matt Harrison, Texas snapped an 11-game streak in which it got at least six innings from its starter. The streak was the longest of its kind since the Rangers' starters turned in 13 six-plus-inning starts in 2001.

Worth Noting
The Royals have issued free passes in the last two contests and lead the Majors with 125 walks on the season, two ahead of the Mets. ... Vladimir Guerrero continued his hot hitting at the Rangers' home park on Thursday, hitting two home runs in the contest and tallying four RBIs. The veteran now has 23 on the season.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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